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Rooney lambasts MLS over domestic salaries

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It is quite clear Wayne Rooney is leaving Major League Soccer in December to head back to England.

Before he leaves for a player-coach role at Derby County, he’s hellbent on having his say. He is keen to air some grievances.

Like a free-spirited floor manager who is working out his notice before moving on, Rooney has once again taken a shot at MLS. This time he has hit out over salaries domestic players in the U.S. and Canada receive.

In an interview with ESPN, Rooney, 33, doubled down after his recent criticism of travel issues regarding charter flights not being available for all away trips.

“I feel that American players get underpaid,” Rooney said. “I feel they deserve to get more money to stay in line with football in the rest of the world and in terms of the American sports. I’m not saying it to benefit me, I obviously won’t be in the league next season. I think it’s only fair to those players who are putting in the same work as all have to earn the right to earn more money for doing it.”

Has Rooney got a point? He has, but it is a complex area to delve in to.

With more money set aside in recent seasons for Targeted Allocation Money (TAM), it is easier for MLS franchises to spend more money on overseas additions, and they often do that rather than use it on domestic players.

If you are a non-Designated Player in MLS, the maximum salary you can earn is $10,192-a-week. Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and others clearly don’t have to worry about their salary as DPs, but it is commendable that they are lending their voices to the cause. Rooney could just sit their and take his DP salary, but he’s not. So, he’s obviously seen something that needs to be addressed.

Do MLS players deserve to be paid higher? Of course. But it is still a growing league and is far away from the average salary in Europe’s top leagues. The average wage in MLS is around $7,000 per week, while in the Premier League it is around $70,000 per week.

With MLS expanding to new markets and attracting new interest from all over the globe, you’d expect the players who helped make the league what it is, the veteran U.S. and Canadian players, to be rewarded for their loyalty. But in the current system, it doesn’t work like that.

Why is Rooney speaking out now? The current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) runs out on Jan. 31, 2020 and there is talk of a strike unless more charter flights and freedom of movement between MLS teams is granted.

Given his profile, having Rooney lead the charge makes sense. Expect to hear a lot more about the MLS’ upcoming CBA talks with the MLS Players Association (MLSPA).

Rooney suspended extra game for forearm red card

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Wayne Rooney‘s been punished an extra game by the MLS Disciplinary Committee following his forearm shiver red card on Aug. 21.

The former Manchester United and Everton striker was sent off in the 21st minute, his second red card this season, when VAR spotted his forearm to the chest/throat of Cristian Casseres in a 2-1 loss the New York Red Bulls.

[ MORE: League Cup roundup ]

Rooney, 33, has 13 goals and 7 assists across all competitions for DC and sat out Sunday’s 3-1 loss in Chester, Penn., against the Philadelphia Union.

The Black-and-Red are on a three-match losing streak, and sit two points back of the Red Bulls for a home playoff match. They still sit five points clear of the playoff line.

Rooney will now miss a match against Bojan Krkic and reinvigorated Montreal on Saturday at Stade Saputo. The Impact are one of the teams five points back of DC.

WATCH: Rooney sees red for forearm shiver, Kamara scores golazo

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Midweek MLS provided plenty to talk about on Wednesday, with two red cards and a golazo in one match alone.

The two main talking points from the New York Red Bulls’ 2-1 win over DC United weren’t really part of what led the victors to three points.

[ MORE: Europa League preview ]

How? Well, one of the world’s marquee names earned a red card via VAR and a returning star scores an absolute stunner, that’s how.

Here’s Ola Kamara’s debut marker for the Black-and-Red, adding to a record which included 49 goals in 97 matches between Columbus and the LA Galaxy before moving to the Chinese Super League for a wildly disappointing time with Shenzhen FC.

All of that is forgotten.

As for the Rooney incident, the Red Bulls already led 1-0 when DC’s star striker went forearm shiver on Cristian Casseres Jr.

It’s the second red of the season for Rooney, who is set for Derby County in January.

Amro Tarek was later sent off for the Red Bulls, who moved ahead of DC in the standings. Kaku and Daniel Royer had RBNY’s goals.

FOLLOW LIVE: Fire v. Union, Galaxy v. Sounders on a busy MLS Saturday

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11 games in a matter of hours, now that’s a busy MLS Saturday you don’t want to miss.

[ FOLLOW: MLS scoreboard, for the next 7.5 hours ]

Things kickoff with the New York Red Bulls hosting the New England Revolution, and comes to a close with a vital Western Conference showdown between the Seattle Sounders and the LA Galaxy.

In between, the San Jose Earthquakes look to bounce back as they take on a struggling Sporting Kansas City, while Carlos Vela’s LAFC hope to widen the gap between them and the rest of the league.

Saturday’s full MLS schedule

New York Red Bulls v. New England Revolution — 7 p.m. ET
Montreal Impact v. FC Dallas — 7:30 p.m. ET
Columbus Crew v. Toronto FC — 7:30 p.m. ET
FC Cincinatti v. NYCFC — 7:30 p.m. ET
Minnesota United v. Orlando City — 8 p.m. ET
Chicago Fire v. Philadelphia Union — 8 p.m. ET
Sporting Kansas City v. San Jose Earthquakes— 8:30 p.m. ET
Houston Dynamo v. Colorado Rapids — 9 p.m. ET
LAFC v. Real Salt Lake— 10 p.m. ET
Vancouver Whitecaps v. D.C. United — 10 p.m. ET
LA Galaxy v. Seattle Sounders— 10 p.m. ET

MLS Deadline Day sees Saints winger move to RBNY

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We’ve had loads of moves on Deadline Day in Major League Soccer involving teams like Southampton, Barcelona, and Stoke City amongst others.

[ MORE: PST’s PL preview roundtable ]

The Red Bulls have added Southampton’s Josh Sims on a short-term loan deal as a Young Designated Player.

It’s a little surprising we don’t see more of this from the Premier League to Major League Soccer, and Sims will hang out at Red Bull Arena before returning to Saints by New Year’s Day.

Sims, 22, plays right and left wing, and chipped in three assists in a half-season loan to Reading last season. He also played 208 Premier League minutes, picking up an assist, and has 27 first team appearances for Saints.

Montreal is turning to a familiar face in taking 20-year-old academy product Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla on loan from Barcelona.

The twice-capped Canadian international has three goals and two assists for Montreal before moving to the Camp Nou, where he’s been a fixture for Barcelona B, where Ballou has posted three goals and two assists as well.

Ballou may pair with Bojan, as the ex-Barcelona and Stoke City striker has also moved to Montreal.

The Houston Dynamo have acquired a seldom-used player with a good league track record in the form of Christian Ramirez.

It’s all about the GAM and TAM going back to LAFC, who have Adama Diomande and plenty of depth in attack. Then again, Houston’s got some spice, too.

DC United has added three players, the most prominent being former Galaxy and Crew striker Ola Kamara.

The Norwegian will buttress Wayne Rooney‘s game before taking the starring wheel from him after the season (Mesut Ozil has also been linked with a move to DC).

DC also acquired Felipe Martins from Vancouver and Emmanuel Boateng from the Galaxy.